The United States and even the world today are living through historic and monumental times right now with the Black Lives Matters protests sweeping the nation and taking full force through cities large and small, black neighborhoods, white neighborhoods and are populated by people of all ages, races and backgrounds. These protests mark the hundreds of those over the years that have spoken out about the racism that still plagues this country and has led police officers to murder innocent black men and women without reason. While many organizations and educational resources are being promoted and supported among social media users, and the protests continue on the daily, you may be wondering how you can be involved in the best way possible and make the most use of your energy, time and resources. The whole matter is overwhelming to say the least but if everyone makes these small steps, we begin to inch closer and closer to the sole purpose of life we continue to fight every day for: love and peace throughout all mankind.
First, Educate Yourself and Then Those Around You
Before we can make any positive changes in our society, we must first understand why this is needed and what leads to the need for it in the first place. Yes, racism is wrong for many different reasons, but why is it wrong? Why are certain groups targeted more than others? Some may just choose to accept or act like what is the norm in their community or society, to treat a group of people a certain way, but it is time for us all to make up our own minds about what is right and wrong. There are hundreds of resources out there being spread throughout social media and the internet about how to educate ourselves on the history of oppression of black people and the systematic racism that presents itself in every corner of society. Watch a documentary, read a book, listen to a podcast and take the time to learn about the issues you once felt uncomfortable acknowledging or had little interest in before. After you educate yourself, you have a responsibility to educate those around you and to preach these same messages. Get as many people involved as possible; this is what a movement is, and is our best option for change.
Acknowledge The Disparity
After education comes the acknowledgement and recognition of disparities and racism in our everyday lives. You hear about stories on the news of black people being called the police on for no real reason, people blaming black people for stealing and many other absurd rationalities. While you may have looked past these encounters in the past, it is time we all stand up for what is right and put to bed the negligence and ignorance. If you see something like this happening in your community or anywhere or you feel like a friend, family member or perfect stranger is treating a person of color poorly because of how they look, it is your responsibility to call them out for it right on the spot. It is okay to make people uncomfortable in this situation because it is the only way to create positive change and shift an overall bias that has been instilled for centuries.
Attend a Protest
This may seem obvious but one of the biggest ways to show your support for the black lives matter movement is to attend a protest in your town or community. There are hundreds of protests going on around the country that you can look into. If this is something you are not up to doing, continue to promote resources on your social media and sign petitions that demand justice for oppressors. No action is too small to take. With everyone together using their voice and power, we can and will move mountains.
Donate to and Support Organizations and Black-Owned Businesses
If you have a presence on any social media platform you have probably seen resources going around that support organizations for change across the country, black-owned businesses and black influencers. If you are able to, make a small donation to some of these organizations who are putting the resources they are collecting to good use to create change. For example, many organizations are collecting money for bail bonds across the country, some are collecting for community development, some are in memorial for victims of racism or violence, etc. Also consider following black influencers, perhaps on Instagram, to create and support a stronger community of people of color on this platform.
Start Conversations and Remain Actively Involved
While the world is in a state of shock right now, protests are going on around the country and the Black Lives Matter movement is being promoted all over our social media feed, things inevitably will begin to slow down and we will all settle back into our normal lives. We urge everyone to continue to have the uncomfortable conversations with your friends and family concerning the issues of racism and to call people out on things that do not seem right or have undertones of racism. Continue to support black businesses and communities and reach out to those who may be especially affected by all the current events. Together, we can and will change the way the world stands on this issue.
The Bottom Line
In essence, there are hundreds of ways to get involved with the Black Lives Matter movement, both large and small. You do not need to be organizing your own protest to make a change in your community. Any small act of kindness and support helps from donating a few dollars here and there to online organizations or calling out a friend for making a racist remark. Continue to educate yourself and those around you about the black community through history books, documentaries and podcasts to grasp more of a sense of the struggle they have endured. If you can, attend a protest in your community and always be a symbol of love, hope and inclusion. Together, we will all prevail and look toward a more true understanding of humanity.